really, Dave?

ok, two posts in one day is unusual, but please, please, please go and read this.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/higher-education-student-support-changes-to-disabled-students-allowances-dsa

I’m not sure I can even begin to describe what a bet set of ideas all round this is.

Let’s take this in order, shall we?

We will pay for higher specification or higher cost computers where a student needs one solely by virtue of their disability. We will no longer pay for standard specification computers or the warranties and insurance associated with them.

For three out of four years, my computer was insured and upgraded by DSA.  Not because I actually needed one because of my disabilities – I can use an ordinary computer with no problem, but simply for reasons of accessibility.  I did, and still do, struggle with issues of Chronic Fatigue, and particularly at my second university, could simply not have gotten up the stairs to use the communal computers.  It’s all very well passing the costs on to the universities, but when you get small colleges like Heythrop, which I was at, which also has listed buildings and therefore can’t always add lifts and things, what’re you going to do?  Just because a disability is hidden, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

We will no longer pay for higher specification and/or higher cost computers simply because of the way in which a course is delivered. We are changing our approach to the funding of a number of computer equipment, software and consumable items through DSAs that have become funded as ‘standard’ to most students.

So it’s ok just to exclude some students from their course, just because of their disability?  I’m thinking, for example, of a friend who pre-recorded presentations as speech was a problem.  Yes, of course, the course can be changed, but these things take time and money to implement.  In the meantime, don’t even think of going to uni if you have any kind of disability – you pleb, you!  Honestly..

The additional costs of specialist accommodation will no longer be met by DSAs, other than in exceptional circumstances.

You pardon me, what?

So we have a government who want to “get everyone to work” AND at the same time, cut off most of the grant available to help people get the qualifications to do that.  Because people with disabilities are obviously miracle workers – can do it, get qualified, and yet face burdens that the Eton pals in parliament would never have had to even imagine.

Sometimes the world makes me a bit sick. 

 

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